Pride Yearbook 2022

Rylan Clark’s Mum Is Still His Biggest Role Model

“She’s taught me that I can definitely do it on my own.

A collage of Rylan Clark, his quote about dying with cats and his childhood photo
David M. Benett/Getty Images
2022 Pride Yearbook

Rylan Clark intends on not remembering Pride this year because he plans to party so much. “That’s when you know you’ve had a good time, right?” the beloved TV personality tells Bustle. Given how much he’s working on — in the midst of penning his next memoir, hosting the BBC Radio 2 show Rylan On Saturday, and appearing on Channel 4’s Celebrity Gogglebox Clark’s desire to let his hair down for Pride is hardly surprising. “I’m working on about 4,000 things at the moment,” he says.

Despite any stress that comes with an increasingly hectic schedule, Clark doesn’t take it for granted. “I didn’t think I’d still be going this long,” he says. “It’s 10 years of my career.” To mark this personal achievement, the reality star has plans to release a book, aptly titled TEN, come September. “That’s been taking up a lot of my time, and I look forward to getting that out there,” Clark adds.

The book will delve into a decade of being in the public eye, starting with his 2012 TV debut on The X Factor and his marmite rendition of Des’ree’s “Kissing You.” Clark eventually won over the judges and the public with a string of eccentric live performances (and that judge’s houses reaction). Following his elimination, Clark was a housemate on Celebrity Big Brother series 11, and this time, he took home the gold. From there, Clark bagged a regular presenting slot on ITV’s This Morning, was named host of a revived Supermarket Sweep, reached the final of Celebrity Masterchef, topped the Sunday Times Bestseller List with The Life of Rylan, presented Channel 5’s Big Brother’s Bit On The Side, and landed a big-screen cameo in 2016’s Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie.

For Clark, there’s more to life than career milestones. “My proudest moment was winning an LGBT award [at the British LGBT Awards] a few years back and actually accepting it in a room filled with people I grew up watching. It was a massive moment,” he recalls.

On the 50th anniversary of UK Pride, Clark discusses the music that shaped his youth, why his mum remains his biggest role model, and his go-to comfort TV viewing.

Rylan Clark On Advice For Trans Students & Self-Care

How do you feel about trans rights and the ongoing discrimination against transgender students? What would you tell a student who feels discouraged?

All that’s left to say is that trans women are women and trans men are men. That’s all I’m saying. For a student, I’d say talk to someone you can trust. If you don’t have someone you can trust, find a company or organization that can be there for you.

What superlative would you give yourself for the the 2022 Pride Yearbook?

Most likely to die alone with a load of cats — and I’m allergic to them.

What were some of your go-to songs or artists in high school? How about today?

It was always things like the Spice Girls and Steps, then as I started getting a little bit older and going out, illegally, it would be things like The Shapeshifters and Freemasons. Today? The same. Nothing changes.

Who is an important role model in your life, and what has that person taught you?

I’d have to say my mum. Because she’s very much been there for me my entire life, no more so than the past year. She’s taught me that I can definitely do it on my own.

Tell us about your self-care routine and mental health tips.

For me, it’s fitness. Then if I’m feeling lazy, it’s sitting in front of the telly watching old-school TV like Keeping Up Appearances and Gimme Gimme Gimme!